Centre for Independent Studies

Let‚Äôs share good ideas. ūüí° The Centre for Independent Studies promotes free choice and individual liberty and the open exchange of ideas. CIS encourages debate among leading academics, politicians, media and the public. We aim to make sure good policy ideas are heard and seriously considered so that Australia can prosper.

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Episodes

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Watch this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLW085RZmSQ&t=1701s&ab_channel=CentreforIndependentStudies 
Follow this show: https://liberalisminquestion.podbean.com/
What is "Post Liberalism"?Do you have to be a Christian to understand it? Can the free market give us ethics? What happens when individual rights class with collect rights?Do collectives like churches, schools and other institutions even have rights? Join Dr. Joel Harrison, an expert in constitutional law and religious freedom, and CIS's Robert Forsyth, for an in depth discussion of these questions and more.Dr. Joel Harrison, an expert in constitutional and religious law, senior lecturer in law at Macquarie University and Sydney University, is a recognised specialist in constitutionalism and religious freedom. Robert Forsyth, an eminent scholar in religious freedom and public policy, has held distinguished positions in academia. He is known for his expertise in the intersection of religious liberty and public affairs In each episode, delve into the intricate realm of modern politics with enlightening debates and unique insights. 'Liberalism in Question' offers you a captivating journey into the issues shaping our society
#auspol

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Watch this episode: https://youtu.be/XydmrodsVE8?si=Kw3m92yH7yWo2fWK
 
Follow this show: https://liberalisminquestion.podbean.com/
Mr. Nicholas Sampson, the eighth headmaster of Cranbrook School, has been dedicated to preserving the school's values and forging a vision for the future since the outset of his tenure. He emphasises the uniqueness of each headmaster's role in maintaining Cranbrook's diverse ethos. Sampson's educational journey, from attending a selective school to studying English literature at Cambridge University, instilled in him a deep appreciation for reading and learning through conversation. After briefly venturing into the public service, he discovered his passion for teaching and embarked on a fulfilling career in education. Sampson's leadership extended to Geelong Grammar School and Marlborough College in Australia and the UK, where he introduced innovative educational initiatives and formed partnerships. Integrity and a commitment to civilised living have been central to his philosophy at Cranbrook, fostering renewal and development while staying true to the school's founding principles. His innovative leadership is evident in the numerous advancements and events, including the school's centenary celebrations in 2018. Moreover, Sampson has a unique connection to Marlborough College, sharing ties with other headmasters and individuals associated with Cranbrook.#auspol

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Watch this episode: https://youtu.be/MTdzzonBhPM?si=LUaCWJTk7xOSsETsFollow this show: https://liberalisminquestion.podbean.com/In a wide ranging and nuanced discussion Rob Forsyth questions Duncan Ivison, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Sydney, on his claim that the granting of indigenous rights is compatible with liberalism rather than its repudiation. They agree that the constitutional Voice cannot be justified simply on terms of closing the gap and explore how and if this particular form of recognition could be justified in liberal democratic values.
CIS promotes free choice and individual liberty and the open exchange of ideas. CIS encourages debate among leading academics, politicians, media and the public. We aim to make sure good policy ideas are heard and seriously considered so that Australia can prosper. Follow CIS on our Socials.#auspol

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Watch this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHWrdNNY0AA&t=1426s&ab_channel=CentreforIndependentStudies Follow this show: https://liberalisminquestion.podbean.com/
Should Michael Jordan mow his own lawn?
What is the role of the Reserve Bank?
Is liberalism "right-wing"? Robert Forsyth interviews CIS Chief Economist, Peter Tulip, a "classical liberal" thinker otherwise known as a "mainstream economist".Throughout the conversation Peter distinguishes liberalism from conservatism and argues that is it usually better to have the government out of the way. He points out that good intentions have nothing to do with good outcomes (just ask North Korea), and laments that the general public does not think like economists.#auspol

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Watch this episode: https://youtu.be/QJwN23Ih2sA?si=kI3xXsicXZkGrQgt 
 Follow this show: https://liberalisminquestion.podbean.com/
Patrick Parkinson is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney and an internationally renowned expert on family law. He has played a major role in shaping family law in Australia. His proposal for the establishment of a national network of family relationship centers, made to the prime minister in 2004, became the centerpiece of the Australian government's family law reforms. He was also instrumental in reforming the child support system and has had extensive involvement in law reform issues concerning child protection. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to law, legal education, policy reform, and the community. Parkinson has published widely on family law and child protection, as well as other areas of law.
#auspol

Friday Dec 15, 2023

In this special episode, Dr Scott Prasser and Prof John McMillan debate over the politicisation of the public sector.
Dr Scott Prasser is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies and a former senior advisor to federal cabinet ministers.
Prof John McMillan is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He has held former statutory positions of Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australian Information Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (Acting) and NSW Ombudsman (Acting). He was Strategic Adviser to the Victorian Ombudsman for its inquiry into allegations of politicisation in the Victorian public sector.

Thursday Dec 07, 2023

Are you a student who believes in free markets, smaller government, and individual liberty? Perhaps you’ve studied the works of Freidrich Hayek, Adam Smith, or Jonathan Haidt. If this sounds like you, the CIS has an exciting opportunity for you to meet and network with other like-minded people from Australia and New Zealand. Click here to learn more. Essays on the relevance of Smith after 300 years.
Adam Smith, the Scottish philosopher and economist, is one of the most significant figures to have emerged from what came to be known as ‚Äėthe Scottish Enlightenment‚Äô. His work across a number of disciplines changed the way people thought about economic theory and the field of what is now known as ‚Äėpolitical science‚Äô.
Smith was superbly educated in moral philosophy, ancient philosophy, jurisprudence and natural theology ‚ÄĒ at a time when science and religion were regarded as complementary rather than antagonistic.
In developing a moral philosophy that informed a deeper understanding of human interaction, Smith laid the foundation for a thorough exposition of the human practices of commerce and government. By encouraging use of our capacity for imagination, Smith argued that every member of a civil society needed to put themselves in the shoes of others and to see matters as others see them. For Smith, imagination ‚ÄĒ and the fostering of sympathy ‚ÄĒ was the key to our ability to engage in social and commercial exchange.
Adam Smith is one of the intellectual pillars of the Centre for Independent Studies. Informed by the breadth of Smith’s vision, the CIS has always been committed to investigating the nature of society and has argued that the exercise of civic responsibility by individual citizens is every bit as important to the health of society as the policies delivered by government.
This year marks the 300th anniversary of Smith’s birth, but his ideas and critical insights retain their importance today for contemporary Australia. In this Occasional Paper, Professor Paul Oslington and Dr David Hart, two distinguished Australian scholars, reflect both on the work of Smith and on the lessons he can teach us today.
Paul Oslington introduces Adam Smith and sets his work in the context of the intellectual world in which Smith formulated his ideas; he then looks at the thorny issue of rent seeking in modern Australia through the prism of Smith’s thought. At time when many are disillusioned with the processes of government, David Hart’s evaluation of Smith’s thought concerning the business of politics is especially timely.
I am delighted that Professor Oslington and Dr Hart have contributed these essays to mark the anniversary. In doing so, they allow the CIS to honour the vast intellectual contribution that Smith continues to make to the very fabric of contemporary Western society.
Peter Kurti, Director ‚Äď Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program.Read the essays here.¬†

Tuesday Dec 05, 2023

Read the paper here.¬†A large amount of taxpayers‚Äô money, state and federal, is expended on large scale infrastructure that is intended to play a crucial part in Australia‚Äôs growth and prosperity ‚ÄĒ although some of it is arguably wasteful or perhaps even pork-barrelling. And as the recent federal government Infrastructure Investment Review found in axing around 50 planned projects, some ‚Äúdo not demonstrate merit, lack any national strategic rationale and do not meet the Australian Government‚Äôs national investment priorities. In many cases these projects are also at high risk of further cost pressures and/or delays.‚ÄĚ
But major infrastructure projects in Australia are often also more expensive than comparable projects in other countries, even after even after adjusting for differences in currencies and purchasing power.
While a 2014 Productivity Commission Inquiry report on public infrastructure argued that there were examples where Australia was competitive internationally, and that the systematic evidence was missing or incomplete, it noted that several commentators argued Australia performed worse than other countries. The PC, while arguing for substantial reform to our infrastructure processes, also noted there was ‚Äúconsiderable uncertainty about many facets of construction costs. There are sometimes large and inexplicable variations in the construction costs for what appear to be similar activities, such as the cost per kilometre of rail projects.‚ÄĚ
It is unlikely that much has improved since 2014, especially given the findings of the recent review and estimates that construction costs increased more than 25% over the five years to mid-2022.
There are several factors that contribute to the higher costs of major infrastructure in Australia. The available evidence on major infrastructure construction costs shows that there have been some recent significant increases in input costs. This particularly applies to labour and project management costs, plus contract design, complexity and poor management leading to risk offloading, cost over-runs and costly schedule over-runs. However, it is important to note that the cost of projects can also vary based on specific circumstances, project scope, and other factors.
As listed below, and explained in more detail in the subsequent sections related to costs, factors that can contribute to higher costs for Australian infrastructure projects include:
Labour and Industrial Relations: Australia generally has higher labour costs compared with many other countries. Wages, benefits, and labour regulations can contribute to higher project costs.
Lower Productivity: Productivity is hampered by the lack of a sufficiently educated, skilled and engaged workforce, an efficient work environment, innovation, efficient procurement models and ultimately trust between industry stakeholders.
Regulations and Standards: Australia has strict regulations and standards when it comes to construction, safety, and environmental considerations. Compliance with these regulations often adds to the complexity and cost of infrastructure projects.
Design Complexity: Infrastructure projects in Australia often involve complex engineering and design requirements. This can include considerations such as environmental impact, sustainability, and resilience, which may contribute to increased costs.
Project Management: Effective project management is crucial for successful infrastructure projects. Factors like inefficient planning, delays, and changes in scope can contribute to cost overruns.
Risk Offloading: Project cost is often inflated in Australia by a misguided focus on unloading risk in the early stages of a project‚Äôs development. This is often driven by the type of contract that is presented to the industry by lawyers, with the objective of minimising up-front costs and putting most of the risks on the contractors. This practice is not generally followed in other countries, which look at ‚Äėwhole of Life‚Äô costs and benefits, resulting in a more cooperative and cheaper outcome.
***Hosted by Karla Pincott, What You Need to Know About is the podcast that covers exactly that. Hear from CIS’ experts on the key points of their research, providing you with concise and insightful overviews of complex topics. In each episode, we break down intricate policy issues, economic trends, social challenges, and more, delivering the essential information you need to stay informed in today’s fast-paced world. Join us as we cut through the noise and dive straight into the heart of matters that shape our society. Whether you’re a policy enthusiast, a curious mind, or just someone looking to grasp the essentials without getting lost in the details, What You Need to Know About is your go-to source for bite-sized yet comprehensive insights.

The Stealth Tax

Tuesday Nov 28, 2023

Tuesday Nov 28, 2023

Interest in this show? Click here to follow it! Bracket creep chips away at living standards, especially those of younger generations, a new Issue Analysis by Centre for Independent Studies outlines.  
The paper’s authors, Matthew Taylor and Emilie Dye, point out that Australia’s younger workers have the most to lose from bracket creep because bracket creep is regressive and hits harder for those earlier in their careers and making less money.  Read the paper here: https://www.cis.org.au/publication/bracket-creep-hits-young-australians-hardest/
Hosted by Karla Pincott, What You Need to Know About is the podcast that covers exactly that. Hear from CIS’ experts on the key points of their research, providing you with concise and insightful overviews of complex topics. In each episode, we break down intricate policy issues, economic trends, social challenges, and more, delivering the essential information you need to stay informed in today’s fast-paced world. Join us as we cut through the noise and dive straight into the heart of matters that shape our society. Whether you’re a policy enthusiast, a curious mind, or just someone looking to grasp the essentials without getting lost in the details, What You Need to Know About is your go-to source for bite-sized yet comprehensive insights.

Six ways to Debunk Degrowth

Monday Oct 30, 2023

Monday Oct 30, 2023

Increasingly there are calls for degrowth, not just to abandon the pursuit of economic growth, but to shrink economies. The call for degrowth comes from environmentalists, including activists in groups such as Extinction Rebellion, and some economists, particularly in the field of ecological economics.  It is related to concerns about climate change, pollution, species extinction, and resource exhaustion. Economic growth is to blame, proponents say, and the proposed solution is degrowth, an aggressive contraction of economic activity that requires an acceptance of significantly lower living standards.
Listen as Gene Tunny and Karla Pincott discuss six things you need to know about degrowth. 

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